Glasgow (AFP) – Alfredo Morelos clinched Rangers’ 2-0 win at Motherwell before the volatile striker endured more red card misery on Sunday.
Morelos followed Nikola Katic’s first-half opener with his 27th goal of the season midway through the second half as Rangers ended a run of three games without a victory.
But the Colombian star, who was sent off five times last season, let his emotions get the better of him as he aimed an inflammatory gesture at the home supporters during his celebrations and was punished with a second yellow card.
Rangers temporarily moved to the top of the table — with Celtic able to reclaim pole position later on Sunday — but Morelos will be banned for Friday’s trip to Hibernian following his latest red card.
Rangers manager Steven Gerrard has been keen to praise Morelos’ new-found self-control this term, but the Ibrox boss will now have to turn to Jermain Defoe for the Easter Road clash.
Motherwell should have taken the lead when a deflection off Connor Goldson sent Chris Long racing through against the on-rushing Allan McGregor.
Long took it round the keeper but could not tee up Devante Cole in the middle as James Tavernier raced back just in time to clear.
But Rangers got the opener from Borna Barisic’s outswinging corner after 27 minutes.
Bevis Mugabi was supposed to be keeping tabs on Katic but found himself being dragged along as the Croatia defender bulldozed through to power home with a header.
Motherwell’s Liam Donnelly and Rangers’ Ryan Jack had to be separated as the players went down the tunnel at half-time.
When the teams returned after the interval both Jack and Declan Gallagher were cautioned.
Morelos could have landed a knockout blow within five minutes of the restart, but Mark Gillespie made a fine block.
The result was beyond doubt after 68 minutes as Morelos showed the positive side of his game.
He did brilliantly to collect Joe Aribo’s cut-back before spinning away from Gallagher to fire past Gillespie.
But with the Colombian already on a booking after a late challenge on Jake Carroll, he left Robertson with no choice but to send him off as he aimed an offensive gesture at Motherwell supporters.
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